2012 BMW R 1200 RT
Overview of the main features
of the new R 1200 RT:
- New, even more dynamic engine with two overhead
camshafts per cylinder.
- Maximum torque increased to 120 Nm (88 lb-ft)
at 6,000 rpm, maximum output remaining at 81 kW
(110 hp) at 7,750 rpm.
- Increase in maximum engine speed from 8,000 to
8,500 rpm, with an even broader useful range of
- Significantly improved torque, traction, pulling
force, and acceleration.
- Even more spontaneous and direct response with
optimum dosage of power and signifi cantly improved
load change behaviour.
- Torque curve even smoother and more homogeneous.
- Cylinder head covers now with two instead of
four fastening bolts and in new, even more dynamic
- Electronically controlled exhaust fl ap for superior
and powerful sound.
- ESA II Electronic Suspension Adjustment with
damping, spring base and now also spring rate adjustable
at the touch of a button.
- BMW Motorrad Integral ABS featured as standard
in the partly integrated version.
- Fairing in new design with protection from wind
and weather improved once again.
- Re-designed cockpit with visor.
- New control units and hydraulic reservoir.
- Electronically controlled windshield with optimised
aeroacoustics and improved transparency.
New audio system with controllable interface
for a USB/MP3 and iPod, operated through the Multi-Controller.
- Adjustable footshift lever.
- Hard-shell cases (each with a capacity of 32
litres) featured as standard, with accurately fi
tting four-point lock system and cover fi nished
in body colour.
- Tank railing for conveniently fastening accessories.
- New colours for the R 1200 RT: Polar metallic,
Ostra Grey metallic matt, Thunder Grey metallic,
multi-colour paintwork in conjunction with Thunder
Grey metallic base colour.
- Extended range of optional extras and special
equipment tailored to the R 1200 RT, naturally in
top BMW quality.
- New boxer engine with much more torque for an
even more dynamic and comfortable touring experience.
The BMW R 1200 RT has always been acknowledged as
the epitome of comfortable and dynamic motorcycle
touring in classic style. And now the latest version
of this very special active tourer with its signifi
cant innovations offers even more superior enduro
qualities and dynamic benefi ts thanks to its new
In its configuration and basic structure, the new
fl at-twin power unit is the same as the DOHC engine
featured in the BMW HP2 Sport. It has however been
further upgraded and optimised for the BMW R 1200
RT to meet the specific requirements of such an outstanding
With the 1,170-cc boxer engine on the former model
already offering superior drive power under all conditions
and in all situations, the new R 1200 RT has even
more to offer. First, the new engine comes with an
increase in maximum torque from 115 to 120 Nm (85
- 88 lb-ft) at an unchanged 6,000 rpm, for even
more pulling force and traction. Second, the range
of useful engine speed is now 500 rpm broader, going
up all the way to 8,500 rpm. The third improvement
is a signifi cant increase in torque where it really
counts at low and medium engine speeds, with an absolutely
smooth and homogeneous torque curve.
Maximum output, as before, is 81 kW (110 hp), now
at 7,750 rpm (previously 7,500 rpm).
New DOHC cylinder heads for an even more
efficient cylinder charge.
Designed and built for even higher engine speeds,
the new boxer engine of the R 1200 RT, like the power
unit featured on the BMW HP2 Sport, comes with two
overhead chain-driven camshafts (DOHC) per cylinder.
Valves are operated by very light rocker arms able
to cope easily with high engine speeds. Radial
arrangement of the four valves gives the combustion
chamber very compact confi gurations, and like on
the former models the fuel/air mixture is ignited
by two spark plugs (HP2 Sport: one spark plug). The
compression ratio of 12.0:1 remains unchanged.
Knock control allows the engine to run on
95-98 RON premium (plus) fuel.
Under certain conditions the rider may experience
a very small drop in torque and a slight increase
in fuel consumption whenever knock control cuts in.
Horizontal arrangement of the camshafts in the direction
of travel calls for two special technical features
on the new fl at-twin power unit: Each camshaft controls
one intake and one exhaust valve, and the cams are
fi nished in conical shape due to the radial arrangement
of the valves. Particularly in the interest of power
and performance at low and medium engine speeds, and
to provide even better free-revving riding characteristics,
the intake and exhaust valve timing on both camshafts
has been further optimised. Compared with the former
models, the valve plates are up in diameter from 36
to 39 millimetres (1.41 – 1.54“) on the
intake side and 31 to 33 millimetres (1.22 –
1.30”) on the exhaust side.
Valve clearance is adjusted by light semi-hemispherical
shims. To provide a greater free-valve cross-section,
valve lift is up from 10.54 mm (0.415“) on the
intake and 9.26 mm (0.365”) on the exhaust side
to 10.8 mm (0.425”) on both sides.
Significantly more torque throughout the
entire speed range.
The existing ratio of bore:stroke remains the same
at 101:73 mm (3.98:2.87”), giving the engine
the same capacity as before of 1,170 cc. Other features
likewise taken over from the former engine are the
crankshaft and the connecting rods as well as their
bearings, while the two pistons made of cast aluminium
have been re-designed to match the modifi ed dimensions
of the combustion chamber.
Interacting with the upgraded intake system, throttle
butterfly manifolds now offering 50 mm (1.97“)
instead of the former 47 mm (1.85”) (HP2 Sport:
52 mm/2.05”) opening clearance, newly designed
intake air funnels and an air filter element with
even higher throughput, the power unit, as in the
past, develops maximum output of 81 kW/110 hp, now
at 7,750 rpm. The biggest improvement, however, is
the increase in maximum torque to 120 Nm/88 lb-ft
at 6,000 rpm.
An oil cooler ensures a stable thermal balance
even under extreme running conditions.
A further feature on the new model is the use of
cylinder head covers with two instead of formerly
four fastening bolts in new, even more dynamic design.
A valve cover guard made either of aluminium or plastic
as well as chrome-plated aluminium cylinder covers
are available as special equipment.
Electronically controlled exhaust flap for
superior and muscular sound.
On the exhaust system the two manifolds come in
the same design, length and diameter as on the former
model, while the interference pipe has been modified
to take the different vibration conditions on the
exhaust manifold into account.
Featuring an exhaust flap controlled via an electric
motor and opening/closing cables, the new BMW R 1200
RT offers a particularly powerful boxer sound nevertheless
in full compliance with all legal standards. To reduce
ram pressure and improve the sound of the engine,
the rear silencer unchanged in its exterior
design versus the former models comes with a modified
Ideal transmission of power thanks to six-speed
gearbox and drive shaft.
As in the past, power is transmitted through the
six-speed gearbox already upgraded in the 2008 model
year, with larger bearing diameters and a modified
gap between shafts. The maintenance-free drive shaft
to the rear wheel is the same as before.
Running gear with Telelever and Paralever
following a proven principle at BMW.
The proven, two-piece main/rear frame sections made
of weight-saving steel tubes incorporating the engine
as a load-bearing element offer maximum strength and
stiffness under all running conditions. The front
and rear frame are firmly bolted to the engine/gearbox
unit, interacting with the engine and gearbox to form
a load-bearing structure. The longitudinal arm on
the front Telelever suspension is mounted as before
on the engine block, the Paralever swing arm is fi
tted on the rear frame.
With its fixed tube measuring 35 millimetres/1.38”
in diameter, the Telelever is the optimum solution
for the rider using his machine exclusively on the
road and focusing in particular on superior comfort.
This is ensured by the good balance of sporting and
comfort-oriented suspension behaviour, the maintenance-free
system once again designed to reduce brake dive to
almost zero, which again helps to provide greater
stability when applying the brakes when leaning over
at an angle.
As in the past the Paralelver swing arm in the rear
central spring strut comes with travel-dependent damping
or TDD for short, with the damping effect increasing
progressively as a function of spring travel. This
keeps the suspension smooth, sensitive and comfortable
in absorbing even the smallest bumps, while at the
same time offering generous reserves on bad roads
and tracks with grooves or big bumps and pitholes.
As in the past, spring travel is 120 millimetres/4.72“
up front and 135 millimetres/ 5.31” at the rear.
In standard trim, the rear spring strut offers infinitely
variable adjustment on the outbound stroke as well
as a hand-wheel for infi nitely adjusting the spring
base by 10 millimetres or 0.39”, in order to
adjust the rear
end to varying load requirements.
Like its predecessor, the new R 1200 RT comes on
light, almost fi ligree cast aluminium wheels in fi
ve-spoke design, combining an attractive look with
an easy-to-clean surface and a high standard of stiffness.
The front wheel measures 3.5 x 17“, the rear
wheel 5.5 x 17”, running on a 120/70 ZR17 tyre
up front and a 180/55 ZR17 tyre at the rear.
ESA II Electronic Suspension Adjustment, adjustable
damping, spring base and now also spring rate.
The BMW R 1200 RT is available with ESA II (Electronic
Suspension Adjustment II) already well-known from
the K series as an option at extra cost.
Benefiting from this system quite unique in the
world motorcycle market, the rider is able to adjust
not only the damping on the outbound stroke of the
front and rear spring strut, but also the spring base
(spring pre-tension) on the front spring strut and
the spring rate – all this at the simple touch
of a button.
This second-generation Electronic Suspension Adjustment
or ESA II for short provides the option to set the
suspension for maximum comfort and, with greater precision
than ever before, for optimum riding and load conditions,
thus ensuring a new dimension of riding stability
combined with absolutely excellent response.
To control the Electronic Suspension Adjustment
as easily as possible and to prevent any unwanted
settings, the rider initially enters the motorcycle’s
current load condition (solo, solo with luggage, rider
with passenger and luggage).
The appropriate spring base and spring rate is then
set automatically, with the system coordinating these
two parameters to one another.
Depending on the style of riding he wishes to enjoy,
the rider must also choose among the Comfort, Normal
or Sport mode, giving the suspension the desired qualities.
So applying the optimum parameters kept available
in the Central Vehicle Electronics, the electronic
“brain” calculates the appropriate damper
rates and sets them accordingly. As a result, the
new R 1200 RT benefits from a total of no less than
nine different set-up options.
With additional adjustment of the spring rate, ride
height can be set perfectly to various load conditions,
ensuring an even higher standard of riding stability,
handling and comfort. Even when carrying high loads
with a passenger and lots of luggage, the R 1200 RT
maintains all of its riding qualities also when leaning
over to a low angle in bends, for a truly sporting
style of riding at all times.
A further advantage is that adjustment of the spring
rate dramatically reduces the risk of the suspension
suddenly sagging under extreme load.
The rider is able to change the damper setting (Normal,
Sport, Comfort) simply by pressing a button also while
riding, while for function and safety reasons the
spring base may be changed only at a standstill. The
spring rate is adjusted by an electric motor complete
with its own transmission, while the damping rate
modifi ed by small step motors on the dampers.
Adjustment of the spring rate is controlled by two
springs connected in series, one behind the other.
An elastomer unit (Cellasto) in combination with a
conventional coil spring further down takes up forces
under spring pressure, radial expansion of the Cellasto
element to the outside being restricted by a steel
sleeve. On the inside the Cellasto element moves an
aluminium sleeve by means of electrohydraulic connection,
the position of this inner sleeve influencing the
expansion behaviour of the Cellasto element to the
inside and, therefore, its spring rate.
In all, this interaction of the various units has
the same effect as a combination of two springs varying
in strength. Whenever the inner sleeve is resting
on the steel spring, the Cellasto unit is not in use
and only the steel spring provides the desired suspension
effect. Once the inner sleeve is moved further, the
base on the steel spring – and therefore the
spring pre-tension – is also varied accordingly.
This configuration signifi cantly improves the normal
static position of the motorcycle and riding geometry
under all load conditions, without any of the disadvantages
encountered with conventional suspension. Benefi ting
from this self-levelling, the R 1200 RT is just as
stable when riding under full load as it is when carrying
only the rider without any luggage.
Additional adjustment of the spring rate over the
wide range from 160 – 260 N/ mm allows far greater
variation of the Sport, Normal and Comfort settings
on ESA II than on ESA I, with each set-up providing
a far greater choice of specific characteristics.
In other words, the R 1200 RT is even more dynamic
precise in the Sport mode, and very comfortable indeed
in the Comfort mode, while maintaining an excellent
standard of stability.
In all, ESA II offers the following significant
- Much wider range of settings and suspension options
with the Sport/Normal and Comfort modes.
- Far better maintenance of the machine’s
static, normal position and riding geometry with
- Optimum adjustment of the damping and spring
rate / spring base in all settings.
- Significant change of the motorcycle’s
character through adjustment of the dampers.
- Excellent adjustment to all load conditions through
the adjustment of the spring rate / spring base.
- Significant enhancement of safety when braking
and in general riding stability, free side angle
in bends and firm suspension without sagging.
Brake system featuring partly integral ABS
as standard for safe stopping power.
The proven brake system with BMW Motorrad Integral
ABS in its partly integral version featured as standard
offers supreme safety at all times. Maximum and controllable
stopping power requiring minimum effort on the part
of the rider guarantees additional safety particularly
when braking in an emergency. The
front brake discs measure 320 millimetres or 12.6“
in diameter, the rear brake disc 265 millimetres/10.4”
Lighter and even more dynamic fairing with
riding comfort improved once again.
The R 1200 RT remains unmistakable in design, simply
begging the rider to go out on the road or track at
very fi rst sight. Through its highly attractive blackgrain
surface fi nish around the air intake at the front
of the fairing and around the upper side fairing,
to mention just two examples, the R 1200 RT looks
even lighter and more dynamic than its predecessor.
More than ever before, the light look of the fairing,
which nevertheless offers superior protection from
wind and weather, makes the machine a truly unique
experience. The intentionally reduced use of colour
around the mirror handguards again contributes to
the dynamic appearance of the R 1200 RT, while the
integrated direction indicators now with white lenses
accentuate the powerful touring character of the machine.
Light edges in the fairing as well as the new cylinder
head covers emphasising the length of the R 1200 RT
give BMW’s new motorcycle an even sleeker and
more slender look from the side. The newly designed
front wheel mudguard with improved aerodynamics and
the optimised engine spoiler also add a particularly
dynamic touch to the design of the new R 1200 RT.
As in the past, the dominating headlight with its
sharp contours gives the front end of the R 1200 RT
a particularly stylish and truly unique appearance,
setting it clearly aside from all other models. Following
the free-form surface principle, the headlight unit
is made up of two H7 headlights arranged to the right
for a double low beam and a central light for the
high beam, in each case with maximum light intensity.
While so far the headlight was adjusted by means
of a lever on the motorcycle at rest, it may now be
adjusted most conveniently by a knob on the left side
of the cockpit.
The windshield is electrically adjustable to any
position desired also on the new R 1200 RT, with variation
of windshield height as before by up to 140 millimetres
or 5.51”, enough to protect virtually any rider,
no matter how tall, even better than before from wind
and weather, while reducing the level of noise once
To improve aeroacoustics to an even higher level,
the windshield has been modified in its design on
the upper side section, helping again to signifi cantly
reduce wind noise. Windshield transparency has been
optimised in this process, with less distortion round
the edges as well as less refl ection. To reduce vibrations,
fi nally, the windshield support with just one bar
has been reinforced and the mirror mounting modified.
Re-esigned cockpit with additional visor.
The cockpit placed as usual perfectly in the rider’s
line of vision with its two analogue dials for road
and engine speed guarantees perfect presentation and
safe supervision of all the machine’s functions.
Unlike the former model, the new R 1200 RT comes with
a matt visor fi nished in a dark metallic colour above
instruments to avoid any undue refl ection. The instrument
cluster itself features a newly designed face, now
looking even more modern and sophisticated.
The instruments are supplemented by a central screen
presenting data such as the coolant temperature, tank
level, the time of day or the gear currently in mesh
in the usual proven manner. On models fi tted with
ESA II as an option, the instrument cluster also provides
information on the current suspension setting.
Data retrievable on demand include the overall mileage,
trip mileage and, as soon as tank capacity has dropped
to the reserve level, the remaining range on the fuel
An on-board computer complete with an oil level
warner comes as an option, with the information required
(ambient temperature, remaining range, average speed
and fuel consumption, tyre pressure (special equipment))
also available in the Info Display.
New shift units, new hydraulic reservoir
and handlebar separated to avoid vibration.
Like the K 1300 models, the new R 1200 RT comes
with a brand-new generation of switches and manual
controls. The new switches are far smaller and more
compact, but at the same time offer a higher level
of functional value and come in very clear design.
Apart from the standard direction indicator, horn,
high beam and starter functions, the R 1200 RT features
controls for the electrically adjustable windshield
and the optional handlebar and seat heating, the on-board
computer, ESA II, ASC, and cruise control all integrated
in the control unit.
As part of this modifi cation, new, square-shaped
and separately mounted hydraulic fl uid reservoirs
in a discreet smoky glass look for the clutch and
brake fluid are also fi tted in the cockpit area.
To avoid unwanted vibration and offer an even higher
standard of riding comfort, the handlebar is now also
mounted on rubber bearings to cancel out vibrations.
The upper fork bridge now fi nished in silver complete
with the BMW logo underlines the particular style
and fl air of the R 1200 RT also in this area.
New audio system masterminded by the Multi-Controller
coming as an option.
An absolute innovation in the motorcycle market
is the new Multi-Controller.
Fitted on the inside of the left handlebar within
optimum reach at all times, the Multi-Controller replaces
the former function satellite fi tted further to the
inside of the handlebar. Like a computer mouse, the
Multi-Controller responds to turning and pressing
of the wheel, enabling the rider to select a specifi
station and music title or vary the volume of the
The audio system is also brand-new, featuring interfaces
for an MP3 player, an iPod or USB stick as well as
conventional devices such as a CD player. The CD player
fi tted on the former model has been dropped.
The new system allows administration of no less
than nine playback lists on a USB/MP3 and iPod, with
the alternative option to play all titles in random
The Info Display presents the volume chosen as well
as the title currently being played. The external
devices used may be kept conveniently in a lockable
compartment on the right side of the inner fairing,
protected safe and sound from wind and weather.
The radio functions themselves are the same as before,
but now the new audio system enables the rider to
save 24 instead of just six stations. The rider can
select stations either manually, through the memory
function on stations saved in advance, or through
the station search mode looking for the station with
best reception (Autostore). The station currently
being played is presented on the Info Display and
the speed-related volume control may be set to three
Over and above the functions provided by the Multi-Controller,
the radio control unit is masterminded as before through
control knobs on the left side of the inner fairing
Perfect ergonomics for superior long-distance
As before, the comfortable seat on the R 1200 RT
is split up into two sections, with manual adjustment
of the rider’s section to two levels, 820 and
840 millimetres (32.3 and 33.1“). A lower seat
is available as an optional extra, with seat height
of 780 and, respectively, 800 millimetres (30.7 and
A further option is to lower the entire motorcycle
(750 mm/29.5“ seat height including an extra-low
seat bench), with a single-piece, extra-low seat bench
measuring just 765 millimetres/30.1” in height
available as special equipment.
Supreme comfort is ensured by the single-piece comfort
seat bench also available as special equipment within
the wide range of features coming from BMW Motorrad.
The ergonomic triangle made up of the footrests,
seat and handlebar ensures an active seating position
with maximum grand touring comfort. The rider and
passenger on the R 1200 RT thus enjoy a pleasant knee
angle at all times and under all conditions.
In the process of upgrading the new model, BMW Motorrad
has given the R 1200 RT gearshift levers adjustable
by an eccentric control bar serving to change the
distance between the shift lever and the footrest
and once again improve rider ergonomics.
High-tech baggage system for comfortable
The R 1200 RT comes as standard with hard-shell
cases offering a capacity on each side of 32 litres.
The case holders are integrated almost fully in the
body of the machine, providing a perfect match with
the contours of the R 1200 RT.
Case covers fi nished in high-quality body colour
and an appropriate surface look matching the overall
design of the motorcycle ensure a harmonious overall
impression from every angle. A high-class locking
system with four locking points guarantees an exact
fi t of the case cover as well as reliable sealing
against water coming in.
The luggage rack offers ample space for additional
luggage. As an alternative, the rider may opt for
two topcases (either 49 or 28 litres) from the wide
range of special equipment. The smaller of these two
topcases is fi nished in black, the larger comes with
a cover fi nished in White Aluminium metallic matt
as a contrast to the black grain lower section or,
as yet a further option, the cover in Sapphire Black.
A railing is fitted on top of the tank for fastening
the tank bag developed especially for this purpose.
And last but not least, numerous lashing points for
luggage round off the touring package on the R 1200
Optional Extras and Special Equipment.
As a systems supplier by tradition, BMW Motorrad
has developed a wide range of optional extras and
special equipment also for the new R 1200 RT, allowing
the discerning customer to personalise his machine
to an even higher standard. Special equipment comes
directly from the factory and is fi tted during production
at the Berlin Plant, optional extras are fi tted by
the BMW Motorcycle Dealer.
- ESA II (Electronic Suspension Adjustment II).
- Audio system including Multi-Controller and interfaces
for iPod, USB, MP3, etc.
- On-board computer incl oil level warning system.
- Rider’s seat, lower 780 / 800 millimetres
- Suspension, lower, 750 millimetres (29.5”)
incl extra-low seat (available only without seat
- Seat heating (only in conjunction with heated
- Heated handles.
- Second power socket.
- Preparation for audio system.
- Cruise control.
- Anti-theft warning system.
- Exhaust system, chrome-plated.
- Comfort seat, single-piece.
- 79 kW (107 hp) power version.
- 72 kW (98 PS) power version.
Bags and Cases.
Topcase, large ( • 49 litres), cover in White
Aluminium metallic matt or Sapphire Black.
- Topcase, small (28 litres).
- Back padding for topcase, small.
- Inner bag for topcase, large.
- Inner bag for topcase, small.
- Inner bag for system case, left or right.
- System case protector, top (transparent film).
- Impact guard for cases.
- Tank bag, watertight, with base plate.
- Vario insert for tank bag
- Softbag 2, small, 19 litres.
- Softbag 2, large, 51 litres.
- Baggage roll, watertight, 53 litres.
- Lashing belt with tightening lock.
- Baggage straps.
- Insert for radio socket.
Ergonomics and Comfort.
- Extra-low seat, 765 millimetres/30.1” (single-piece,
only without seat heating).
- Rider’s seat, low, 780/800 millimetres
(30.7/31.5”), Black or Grey.
- Seat, Grey.
- Comfort seat 785 millimetres/• 30.9”
(single-piece, only with seat heating).
- Heated handles.
- Second and third power socket.
Design and Sound.
- Cylinder head covers chrome-plated.
- Carbon cover on engine block.
- Akrapovic sports muffl er.
- Splashguard at the rear.
- Aluminium cylinder head cover protection.
- Plastic cylinder head cover protection.
- Anti-theft warning system.
- First-aid kit, large/small.
- Safety bolt for oil fi ller manifold.
Navigation and Communication.
- BMW Motorrad Navigator IV with accessories.
- Holder for BMW Motorrad Navigator IV.
- iPod adapter cable (USB/chinch).
Maintenance and Technical Features.
- Power reduced to 98 hp.
- Paddock stand.
- On-board toolkit/service set.
- LED light for on-board power socket 410 millimetres/16.1”.
The fairing on the new R 1200 RT is lighter and
more dynamic than the former fairing with its large
surfaces. This lighter and more dynamic look is ensured
above all by the sophisticated black-grain surface
fi nish around the side and front sections.
The colour concept with four new colour shades enhances
this effect and gives the R 1200 RT a signifi cantly
more compact look through the contrast between the
colour of the body and the matt-painted engine spoiler
as well as the seat fi nished exclusively in black
on all models.
Polar metallic accentuates the dynamic design language
of the new R 1200 RT in particularly elegant and sporting
style. In conjunction with the engine spoiler finished
in Dark Slate metallic matt, Polar metallic is a particularly
colourful highlight in the R 1200 RT range.
Thunder Grey metallic in combination with the engine
spoiler fi nished in White Aluminium metallic matt,
on the other hand, emphasises the all-round talent
of the new R 120 RT.
Ostra Grey metallic matt sets a powerful contrast
to the engine spoiler again finished in White Aluminium
metallic matt, providing a very technical look.
Twin-tone paintwork based on Thunder Grey metallic,
together with sweeping lines in Titanium Silver metallic
and Granite Grey metallic, makes the surfaces at the
side look even more compact and dynamic and, together
with the exciting breakdown of colours, sets a new
and sporting highlight also in conjunction with
the cases fi nished for the fi rst time on a motorcycle
in several of the machine’s colours..